New Delhi: BJP today said the Telangana Bill providing for bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh was not comprehensive and that amendments are needed in it so that concerns of Seemandhra region could be addressed.
The main opposition party, whose support will be crucial for passage of the bill in Parliament, accused Congress of mishandling the issue and treating it as an “internal matter”.
BJP leader Venkaiah Naidu, while participation in a protest organised by the party’s Andhra Pradesh unit here to demand amendments to the Telangana bill, maintained his party’s commitment to division of the state but said concerns of Seemandhra region need to be addressed.
“BJP is committed for division of the State. We are in favour of creation of the new State of Telangana,” he said.
At the same time, he added, “The BJP will stand by the Seemandhra people as far as their genuine problems are concerned. We will do everything. The bill brought by the Congress government is not comprehensive and does not address the concerns of people of different regions.”
Asking the government to “seriously understand apprehensions and fears” of Seemandhra region, Naidu said, “Itis the duty of the ruling party to understand the problems and then come with needed amendments and then take everybody into account and get the bill passed.”
He said the Centre should declare in the bill a new capital for Telangana, 10-year tax holiday to woo industrialists for establishing their units and upgradation of Vijayawada, Visakhapatnam and Tirupati airports into international airports.
His comments assume significance as the government is planning to introduce the Telangana bill in Parliament during the resumed Winter session beginning on February 5.
Though the demonstration held at Jantar Mantar had a visible presence of BJP leaders from Seemandhra region, eyebrows were raised because of the absence of Andhra Pradesh BJP president G. Kishan Reddy.
When contacted, Reddy told PTI from Hyderabad that he could not attend the demonstration as he was given a slot to speak on the Telangana Bill in the Andhra Pradesh legislative assembly on Monday.
He denied any difference of opinion within the state unit of the party over the bifurcation issue.
“We would urge the Centre to address the problems and concerns of Seemandhra people, when the bill would be tabled in the Parliament,” he noted.
Reddy was elected from Amberpet assembly constituency at Hyderabad in 2009.